I’m one of the few people on the planet who still reads the newspaper – on actual paper. I like the smell and feel of it, even as it shrinks by the day. I also love the comics. I know it’s all available online but…it’s the newspaper. AND it goes well with coffee.
For the last couple of years, every single day there has been an article in the local newspaper about opioid abuse. I read them all. Most days I learn something new. Evidently, some people don’t read them though and I wonder if it’s because there are so MANY and there’s so MUCH information that’s perceived to be negative. Like the fact that in Knox County alone, there were 294 overdose deaths last year, up 31% from the year before.
When I speak at various churches and clubs in the area, I’m surprised at the number of people who don’t know anything about the opioid crisis. Many don’t know what an opioid is. Most are surprised to find out they probably have some in their own medicine cabinet.
Opioids are painkillers: Morphine, methadone, buprenorphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone. They are sold under some of these brand names: Oxycontin, Percoset, Vicodin, Percodan, Tylox and Demerol among others. If you’ve ever had a toothache, a broken bone, surgery or chronic pain, you were probably given one of these.
To be clear, these pain killers are safe when used for a minimum amount of time under a doctor’s careful watch. However, the largest number of new substance abusers is not teens or young people, as you might think. It’s actually the elderly.
Some older people who are thought to be slipping into dementia are actually having trouble with opioid misuse.
Oh, and there were 997 babies born in Tennessee last year with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome – the withdrawal that occurs when their mothers misuse opioids. That’s why Susannah’s House exists.
Just some news you can use.